All Aboard October 2012

Last Saturday, we joined All Aboard again and it was the second straight All Aboard where I stayed almost from start to end. I had planned to get some Last Night on Earth games in with new people so I brought my copy, but we got convinced to join the Monopoly Deal tournament instead. Mind you, I’ve only played the famous board game version of Monopoly and never really tried this card version that apparently is becoming popular, popular enough to be sold in local toy stores. So we were taught how to play the game and had two practice games just before the tournament.

But before those two practice games, we had the chance to try out Pandemic, a co-operative game that came out last 2008. Players represent members in a medical research team employed by the CDC that are trying to find cures for 4 different diseases before they spread uncontrollably. Each member of the team has a different role with different skills: the Medic, for example, can cure diseases from an entire city easily; the Scientist needs less research data to discover cures; and the Researcher effortlessly passes data from himself to other members in the team.

After the Pandemic game (which we won thanks to the advice of an experienced Pandemic board gamer), we moved on to the two practice Monopoly Deal games. The best way I can describe Monopoly Deal is that it is a cross between tong-its, a rummy-type card game popular in the Philippines, and Monopoly. Each player starts with five cards, draws two cards every turn, and does up to 3 actions per turn. The cards are either Property cards, Money cards, or Action cards. The objective of the game is to be the first player to have 3 sets of Properties in play.

The tournament consisted of around 20 players with no entrance fees and the Big Bang Theory board game as a prize. Each round involved matches between 4 players. I had a good first and second round, winning the first game and finishing the second game in second place. I ended up in third place for the third and fourth elimination round which knocked me out of contention as only the top 8 would advance to the next round.

After the Monopoly Deal tournament, we had the chance to play Cuthroat Caverns. When I was invited to play, they told me it was a co-operative game where we would, as a team, try to defeat monsters one at a time untill all have been vanquished. The only catch was, the player who made the killing blow would take credit and the rewards for the kill. Well, as we were playing and different cards were being played, it seemed that the game was more of a competitive game where players would deny others of the kill and use underhanded tricks such as stealing items, faking attacks, diverting the monsters’ attacks to another player, just to win. There’s still some teamwork involved as the challenges become harder if one player dies, but this becomes secondary as each player competes to have the most kills at the end of the game. More than once, I found myself apologizing as I played effects against my co-players that denied them of the killing blow. Let me highlight that when we played this game, the player (a woman!) had just bought and opened the game, so I participated in the first ever game for this copy.

The October All Aboard event was another good board gaming experience for me (capped by another winning game of Pandemic), good enough that I’ve decided to list down all of the board games that I’ve played in these events. So far, I’ve played:

  • Shadows Over Camelot
  • Dixit
  • Last Night On Earth (which hooked me – I ended up buying 3 board games because of this!)
  • Jab
  • 7 Wonders
  • Pandemic
  • Monopoly Deal
  • Cutthroat Caverns

I can’t wait for the November All Aboard event. Maybe I’ll get to set up that Humans/Zombies/Martians game that I’ve been wanting to try.

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